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General Xitron Questions

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Post time: 2012-8-9 17:41:41 |Show all posts
Based on a lack of training and a completely screwed up install, I'm not sure if our issues are problems inherent with Xitron or just specific to us.
First, the trapping. We've been told that you really can't preview or change trap in a ripped job. There is a rip with trap preview option that will give a bright green or red line where there will be trap, but you really can't see what the trap will look like, AND, get this: "If you use that preview and then send to plate, those colored lines will print".  
The letters "w" "t" and "f" are barely adequate.
We were also trained on how to change the trap from "None" to "Standard" or "Middle".  That can't possibly be the only control we have. What if I want to change the direction of one of the colors? What if just some type needs changed? Is there really no way to check or change trap with Xitron?  We were told that if it has problems on press, we can go in and change to one of the other two trap options (and hope it works better).
Also, is it normal to have to mount several shared drives to process a job?  We have to mount one to add jobs to the workflow list, mount another one to "roam" (there is not a real preview for ripped jobs), another one has to be mounted from the Mac with the Starproof rip (understandable that you'd have to mount something there for the hot folder to work I guess), and another drive if we want to drop files in to print to our little Prism.  Seems like a PITA having to mount several volumes on every  machine every morning and every rip crash throughout the day. Just wondering if that's normal or if again it may be  a retarded install.
Probably the biggest issue I have is that we were assured up front that we were getting a ROOM workflow. As it turns out, this is not the case at all. We are creating PDFs, dropping them into one workflow for the starproof rip for color proofing, and then if and when OK, we drop that PDF into the "to plate" workflow which rips it (through a completely different rip on a completely separate machine) for the platesetter. Again, install guy says that it really is rip once output many because we'll be using "normalized" PDF's that will be sent to each process. He was then not only unable to explain how we need to "normalize" said PDF's, but also had no answer when I commented that we could've had a ROOM workflow with our old PS/M or Brisque workflows using that same logic (and files would actually work - AND we'd have  control over trapping and could preview the job and the trapping in rip and change as necessary).
So  far, we are 2 months into this and we spend about 10 times longer trying to fix files and get PDFs that will actually work with the rip than we ever did with either of our old Scitex rips.  Someone please tell me that we are just victims of poor training and that this whole xitron "workflow" is not really this incredibly retarded to deal with. My co-worker and I both feel like we just went back in time 20 years technology wise with this nightmare.

Post time: 2012-8-10 21:50:07 |Show all posts
Darlene, we are a small print shop as well, we run a Xitron Xenith Rip coupled with a PressTek Dimension plate burner. We are very happy with the Xitron Xenith, not quite as pleased with the PressTek end of things.
If you want some more detailed info our Xitron install was done by Peter Furnee at Stochast give him a call sometime 703.727.3946

Post time: 2012-8-10 19:59:02 |Show all posts
Hello Guru,
Thanks for the perspective. I certainly understand the issue you face with regard to the time difference since Ann Arbor is in the Eastern Time Zone. Feel free to give me a call at your convenience and we can discuss some possibilities that might be helpful to you. You can get me through my direct line at 734-794-1334.
Bret

Post time: 2012-8-10 18:29:05 |Show all posts
Hi All,
To answer your question directly, I got absolutely zero feedback on the idea. That is, until now. This is the first time since that posting that it's been discussed. Let me hear your thoughts, please!
Bret

Post time: 2012-8-10 17:07:18 |Show all posts
thats interesting we are a small print shop looking into ctp and the system they are looking into is the xitron. I know its been awhile since you posted this, so have things changed?? Any better.

Post time: 2012-8-10 15:55:30 |Show all posts
Brett Farrah
What happened to your suggestion thatyou open the forum on your site up to users?

Post time: 2012-8-10 14:26:09 |Show all posts
Graphic,
Nothing personal in my post, just genreal comments and questions to all....
I can appriciate the frustration in the production dept.  We deal with it everyday with our customers. It is far to seldom that the individuals that have to work with a product get any input during the process.  I don't expect owners to let others make decissions on spending their money, but input should be excepted and weighed.  This way when the purchase is made the expectations are known.
You are more than correct that the final decission these days is based more on what does it cost today and not what will it do for me in future business.  No one cares about ROI anymore and some have forgotten that business is an investment for today and tomorrow.  Those who grow their business do so with thoughtful purchases for future business.  Those who buy for today may be gone tomorrow.

Post time: 2012-8-10 13:24:45 |Show all posts
In Reply to Don,   and sort of defending my last post...
I was not bashing the program. In fact I ended my comment with I will most likely state that Xitron is the best after a few years. I will state this if I am bashing somethin I will state it in the beginning of my posts...
Yes my install was interuppted by many production jobs. Yes my install was not given the appropriate amount of time for the guy to focus on doing it properly. Yes my employer did in fact get told that he was getting this product with all the bells and whistles, but somewhere in the purchasing process the employer was told that it may cost less without this particular (NECESSARY) item, so what did he do? Went with the less expensive option. I am not bashing my employewr for being frugal, I am just stating that is the way it went. Did my employer ask me if this Necessary item was not needed or not - NO. So in a way his ignorance is getting in the way - not asking the appropriate question of the appropriate person. So I do what I can with what I am given.
I am willing to work with this product - If I wasn't I would have left when it was installed, but when it comes to comaprison, what matters for this industry is the ability to get the job done in a manner that makes money for everyone. If another product can do the same thing but faster - of course I will state that I miss the faster and easier to use program. Of course there will be learning curves for any new product that anyone uses. Frustration comes from the knowledge that there are better albiet more expensive RIPs that can do what I need in the manner stated above. $$$
So I guess it all boils down to money - maybe all the RIPs and their resellers out there should come to an agreement that they should all cost the same. Then we will see what is the best RIP!

Post time: 2012-8-10 11:29:29 |Show all posts
I am constantly amazed at the bashing a product takes due to the lack of experience of a dealer or the unwillingness of people to adapt.  As a dealer for Xitron for the last 10 years, we have worked extensivly with their staff on many issues.  They are the most willing vendor that we have when it comes to support of their product and our customers.
Bad installs can sometimes happen, but is this due to the product or the installer? Or was the installer not given the curtisy of a dedicated individual during the installation process for proper trainging?  Many installs are deemed to be bad because they are constantly interupted due to production.  As hard as it may be, time must be scheduled on the customers part to ensure the install is given the priority it deserves.
If you don't have all of the options that you require for your workflow is this the product or the sales person that didn't ask all the right questions to make sure you have what you need? Or then again, did they ask the questions but in a cost cutting effort were some of those options just not purchased?
As with any new product there are differences that we must adapt to.  Comparisons are a natural thing to do, but you have to look at the over all picture to determine if he differences are really an issue, or just a short term learning curve.

Post time: 2012-8-10 09:48:52 |Show all posts
OK guys,
Here is my experience with Xitron.
The install went badly...oops did I say that. Same things were said to me about the documentation being lacking it is hard to find items unless you use the find/search features in the PDF that should be residing on the website for Xitron....
Phone support can be at times bad as I am on west cosat and if there is a problem in the afternoon I need to wait till the next day to talk to them. Would be nice for them to have 24 hr support.
As for the hot folders and mounting the drives from the first post in this thread - Xitrom should be able to make the drives stay mounted and not have to have them manually remounted daily (they can fix with a webex more than likely) - as I do not have this problem only when the server has a bad shutdown would I need to do this - but haven't more than once.
After the three days of getting it installed and having our press thumbnailed and doing compansation curves in the Xenith system we are actually getting 98% of our jobs to match the proof from our Epson (which I should say is being run by an EFI). Before there was something way wrong with the old harliquin - the screen values were out of whack. Most of the training time alotted to be with the xitron rep was spent on making sure our press was actually getting a 25% 50% and 75% grey dot - 1.5 days of actual training. Could use some more training on some areas with the xenith system and I will call Xitron for that. Web-ex are easy to do with these guys and they usually get what I want the system to do to do it!
At any rate I am sort of dissapointed with the Xenith system due to us not having the extra module for trap edits. I actually miss rampage at times due to this lack of control over the trap.
In fact for special traps I need to do them manually  before making pdf's to drop into the system.
I am still learning the interface and yes there is so much this system can do that I know I am not utilizing it to it's fullest. The way it can take previouly done impositions and use them for one up pdf's that have been dropped into a hot folder is very nice as once the impo is in xenith all one needs to do is map the imposition to the correct type of job etc...
The interface is lacking some for me as I am still reminicing about how rampage let the user make separate folders for each job making it easier to focus on one job at a time - Xitron on the other hand has all of the items in one list... makes it   hard on the eyes to find the job. Again there is something I still need to learn about here as the Xenith system can do this in a sort of way....
At any rate I am getting used to this system and one day will tout that it is the best   - - maybe ?
I am willing to help those who need it so give me an email if I do not respond to any posts here...As one day you may help me too.

Post time: 2012-8-10 08:16:25 |Show all posts
I had similar issues with the original installation of our Xenith Extreme package.  The actually told us that the documentation was intentionally lacking, that they expected us to have to call them every day with questions!  The original installer/trainer was clueless.  He spent the week on the phone with Michigan fixing his botched install.  We'd train for 10 minutes, wait for an hour or two for him to figure out the problem.  In the end, it turned out that we also had a bad server.  Countless calls to Bret Farrah (not all of them pleasant) and our dealer eventually resulted in a new server, a second PC to run just Raster Blaster, a new install and a second trainer... WHAT AN INCREDIBLE DIFFERENCE!  Jacob Varboncoer was excellent.  In one day with him we were up and running, allowing for multiple days of learning while we were doing actual production work.  Sadly, that company is now out of business and I'm in a new shop running Rampage.  I never thought I'd EVER say this, but I miss Xitron and a true PDF workflow.  The system, once the bugs were worked out, was extremely funtional, fast and very customizeable.  Phone support, while sometimes overwhelmed, were great, especially Krisha.  Most importantly, the system worked and fast!
Jud Graham
(previously of) Newburyport Press

Post time: 2012-8-10 07:15:47 |Show all posts
Hey Duck,
I just wanted to jump into this discussion. We have been using xitron for awhile now and I have to say at first our heads were spinning. It is a very powerful system  and the trapping is top notch! You will get  used to it. Trust me. The only complaint, if you could call it that, would be that the system does so much and you can do alot with it, it seems to be overkill. Alot of settings and customized things that you can do. The documentation is not that great also. On a side note it's nice to see some xitron techies posting here, they'll get ya straightened out. No worries.

Post time: 2012-8-10 05:44:17 |Show all posts
We just met with our owner, things are going to get worse by the looks of it.  We are returning the Prism, Genesis also wants the rip that came with it.  After the 2 month install, that machine was finally set up as the machine that controlled our entire workflow. Now they will have to move that back to the other PC they installed (platesetter rip)- this will be a mess I'm sure. And that's if the Navigator workflow is licensed on that machine. We may be looking at using hot folder and doing everything manually.
While we were discussing the implications of that, I insisted that we have them set this mess up as rip once output many like they started to in the beginning. My co-worker Michael insists that it was someone from Compose who informed us that it is *not possible* to set it up as a ROOM workflow.
I'll update when things go  further south, but for now, it looks like this nightmare is going to get much worse.
Get ready for some phone call Xitron....

Post time: 2012-8-10 04:41:16 |Show all posts
Thanks for your replies and willingness to help out. Eric and Bret, you may be getting a call from me soon.
Our install guys are coming in tomorrow (Thur. Oct 11), and I may just give one of you a call if the answers these guys give isn't in line with what you've posted.
If we can in  fact set this up as a true "ROOM" workflow I would very much like to see it done that way.
We've figured out how to preview trap, but from what I understand we can't really do anything to edit trap without buying more software.
Anyway, we will address our concerns with  Genesis tomorrow, and hopefully I can get one of you on the phone while they are here to maybe get a few things straightened out.

Post time: 2012-8-10 03:29:03 |Show all posts
FasterMD,
I don't like to see an install go poorly.  
We have thousands of installs and we usually make people happy.  So far we haven't done that for you.  I bet we can. If you call me I promise to try and make things right.
We have several options available.
Eric Nelsen
Xitron
734 913 8080

Post time: 2012-8-10 02:18:41 |Show all posts
Hello Duck.  
I realize its been a while since your install but I just read this.
I am product manager in charge of the software you are talking about.
I don't know exactly what happened with your dealer's install but I can clear a few things up.
Of course you can preview trap. If you need someone to show you how, call us at  734 913 1099.  
Editing trap depends upon what you are trying to do.  
A decent install setup would have any needed network volumes mount automatically without intervention from you.
The biggest issue is Star Proof.  Assuming you have the version that I know - you can send 1 bit TIFF to Star Proof and it will recombine for a proof made from ripped data.  You can then use the same ripped data for plates or film.
This is fairly simple to setup in our system.  
I think you should call me and I will help you fix this install.
Eric Nelsen
734 913 8080

Post time: 2012-8-10 00:43:42 |Show all posts
Folks,
I think it's great that there is a place to post thoughts and commentary, as well as questions that allow users to offer help and advice. We put a forum together for our dealers a couple years ago with exactly that purpose in mind. Unfortunately, it didn't get used much and people stopped visiting. Perhaps I should open it up to Xitron customers instead? Let me know your thoughts.
Now to the point of this message; in my position as VP, Support Services for Xitron, I found the two posts here extremely disturbing. Why? Because it's my job to see that these things don't occur. I don't always have visibility to the sales and installation process of our products because we sell through a dealer model. But that doesn't exempt me from responsibility. If an installation was handled poorly, I need to know about it so that I can fix it.
I invite FasterMD and Duck to call me. I will do everything I can to make it right. And I'll make sure you get the answers you need.
Xitron's main number is 734-913-8080.
My name is Bret Farrah.

Post time: 2012-8-9 23:02:22 |Show all posts
A suggestion while you're sorting out the training issue:
If you look in the Xitron directory on the server, there should be a "documentation" directory with a few pdf's. The RIP Manager docs run 162 pages and cover everything from set up to daily use. There are also manuals on the base Navigator RIP and a number of options.
Should help you get going.

Post time: 2012-8-9 21:15:24 |Show all posts
Wow, I just got up off the floor laughing and crying.
We just had our Xitron Navigator installed last week.  Two days of their guy trying to get it set up followed by 1.5 hours of training.  We called and asked for some actual training and were told to start writing down all our questions, and when we have a couple give the tech a call and he'll help us out.  We're all still in disbelief that a company would actually produce, sell, and install a RIP and not provide any training.  Needless to say, we're not a satisfied customer.  I sure am glad he got out on time to catch his plane back to Michigan though.
The one thing that saved us was the fact that at the same time it was being installed we also had a guy out here trying to linearize all of our equipment.  Had he not been here I'm affraid to speculate on what we would have ended up with...
Sad to see my company wasn't the only one who got screwed on this promise of "training" we were assured of receiving after install.
I'd love to help you with your problems but honestly, we were given enough info to know how to drop our PDFs into the workflow and how to release them from step to step.  Anything involving actually setting up the RIP and creating our own workflows beyond what the tech set up was not provided.
Sorry to hear you had a similar experience.

Post time: 2012-8-9 19:28:06 |Show all posts
You should visit www.trapping.org and have a look at I-trap.
David Lewis
Lucid Dream Software
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